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Planning a Successful Intervention


If a friend or family member is battling a dangerous addiction, an intervention may be the push that person needs to seek treatment.

Planning an intervention can be tricky, and success is not guaranteed, but there are ways of placing the odds in your favor.

Tips for Planning a Successful Intervention

Form a Support Group

Speak privately with the friends and family members who are closest to the addict about staging an intervention and requesting that he get help. It is important that loved ones be involved so that the addict understands he is deeply cared about and does not feel threatened by the intervention. The addict needs to respect these people and value their opinions. Stick to a smaller group so that the intervention is more intimate and more effective, and make sure everyone involved can keep the plan to themselves.

Talk to an Expert

An addiction specialist or interventionist can help you plan the intervention and guide you through the process. She can even be present during the intervention, which can help everyone stay focused and on track.

Practice and Prepare

Meet before the intervention takes place to discuss your approach and ensure that everyone is on the same page. Each person can practice what he or she will say to the addict, and the others can provide feedback as to whether the tone is appropriate. The tone is crucial to the success of the intervention and should be more loving than blaming. You can also prepare for any resistance you may receive and decide how to go about handling it.

Stay Positive During the Intervention

Remind the addict, perhaps several times, that all of you are there to help him overcome the addiction. It may help if everyone uses "I feel..." phrases to avoid placing any blame on the addict and instead focusing on how the addiction has affected the people closest to him. Conclude the intervention by giving the addict an ultimatum to either seek treatment or lose all contact and support from his loved ones. This may seem harsh, but if he does not have much to lose, he may not decide to seek treatment.

Take Immediate Action

If the addict accepts help and decides to seek treatment, provide him with options. These options should be researched beforehand, and everyone can decide together which one is best for him. Immediately following the selection, someone should take the addict to the treatment center for admission. If he denies help, everyone should enforce the ultimatum’s terms, and these consequences may quickly lead him to change his mind.

Source: Treatment Solutions